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(April 26,1942 / Lincoln, Nebraska)

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The Smell of a Dog

I love the way a dog smells.

Ever since I was a boy,
I have loved the smell of a dog's paws,
leathery pads, edged with fur,
that absorb the rich, musty fragrances
of where the dog and I have been
in our adventures together.

I love the smell of the top of a dog's head,
where the fur is smoother than at any other
part of the animal
and is usually cleaner, too.
The top-of-the-head smell is fresher than the paw,
more like the smell of a little boy's hair
at the end of a summer's day in the sun.

I don't mind
the faint smell of skunk on a dog,
(but only if it's faint) .
Snuggling down for a nap
with my skunk flavored companion
lying next to me
puts me back in another time,
when the world was new,
waiting to be explored and discovered
by my friends and me and our dogs;
when the little lame balloon man
was simply another reason to wonder.

Submitted: Saturday, February 16, 2008


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